Fluoroscopy | Diagnostic and Medical Imaging


Fluoroscopy is a non-invasive procedure that helps us assess issues inside the body. UC Davis Health is home to complex imaging technology, offering you a broad array of options.

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Morris, M.D. on Nov. 30, 2023.

A radiology exam room

Regional Experts in Fluoroscopic Procedures

Fluoroscopy uses pulses of X-ray energy to produce moving images of your vascular system, organs and joints. UC Davis Department of Radiology excels in fluoroscopic procedures. Advanced technologies help us carry out tests and treatments using high-quality images that require low doses of radiation.

Radiologists and interventional radiologists work alongside specialists in gastroenterology, gynecology, urology, orthopaedic surgery and cardiovascular medicine to best meet your needs. 


Types of Fluoroscopic Imaging

We use fluoroscopy to help diagnose complex issues. It also provides precise imaging guidance for minimally invasive procedures and advanced surgeries throughout your body.

Barium Swallow or Enema

These procedures help detect issues in your upper or lower gastrointestinal tract. Barium, a substance you ingest or we place in your anus, makes it easier to view digestive organ functioning.

Cardiac Catheterization

Providers access your heart through a tiny incision using a thin tube with instruments at the tip (catheter). During this procedure, fluoroscopy shows blood flow through your heart, enabling us to pinpoint and treat blockages.


We use this procedure to check for blockages affecting your uterus or fallopian tubes.

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

This test uses fluoroscopy to capture detailed images of your bladder and nearby tubes (urethra and ureters). The procedure also involves filling your bladder with fluid and observing functioning while you try to urinate.


Myelography evaluates issues affecting your spinal canal (fluid-filled space between your spinal cord and its protective covering). We use it to diagnose spinal tumors, trauma, inflammation and infections.

Orthopaedic Procedures

Fluoroscopy helps surgeons deliver precise care. We use it to guide injections, ensure proper artificial joint placement and realign broken bones.

Stent Placement

Fluoroscopy guides minimally invasive procedures to place hollow mesh devices (stents) in narrow passageways. Stents help widen airways, blood vessels and ducts.

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Preparing for Fluoroscopy

The steps necessary to prepare for a fluoroscopic procedure depend on the type of test or treatment you need. Experts work alongside skilled technologists, nurses and support staff to help you have a safe, comfortable experience.

  • Female nurse and female patient wearing hospital gown walking down a hall

    Before Undergoing Fluoroscopy

    Do not wear clothing with metal, like zippers. We may ask you to change into a hospital gown. In some cases, it’s necessary to skip daily medications or arrive at your appointment with an empty stomach.

  • Surgeons working on patient with fluoroscopy screens in front of them

    During Fluoroscopy

    You’ll be awake For some fluoroscopic procedures, like VCUG or injections. For catheterization, we may give medication to help you relax and fall asleep. If we use fluoroscopy during surgery, you receive general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep and temporarily blocks sensation.

  • Female patient speaking to a female physician

    After Fluoroscopy

    For outpatient procedures, there typically aren’t many limitations. If your exam involves contrast dye or barium, we may recommend drinking water to help clear it from your system.

What to Expect After Fluoroscopy

What happens after fluoroscopy depends in part on the type of test or treatment and your results.

Resuming Daily Activities

In many cases, you can resume daily activities after your procedure. If you do not receive sedation, you can drive yourself home and eat your usual diet after the test is complete.

Getting Your Results

We provide you with your results as quickly as possible — in some cases, immediately after the procedure. If additional review is necessary, you can obtain findings from your referring provider or our patient portal, MyUCDavisHealth, within a week.

Follow-Up Visits

Based on your fluoroscopic imaging test results, we schedule appropriate follow-up visits. Some people need to see specialists for ongoing care of chronic conditions. In other cases, additional appointments are not necessary.

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For the 13th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization.

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